Natalie Tarr, a visiting EAL consultant from Australia, facilitated a parent workshop last week. Natalie spoke about the process of learning an additional language, the amount of time needed to master the deeper features of a language, and the importance of maintaining the home language and culture.
“A strong sense of identity and positive wellbeing are vital to success in learning. Positive self-esteem comes from being acknowledged and appreciated for who and what you are. This includes acceptance and acknowledgement of race, ethnicity, religion, language and ability”. (Siraj-Blatchfors and Clareke, 2000)
At the end of her presentation Natalie shared the following tips for parents;
- Maintain and extend the home language through conversations, reading books, joint writing, and family ‘social’ time.
- Explain concepts, celebrations, and other cultural aspects in the home language.
- Arrange play time and outside activities which promote first language and English.
- Enable children to have a ‘balance’ in life so they can enjoy their education and social life.
We are looking forward to welcoming Natalie back later in the school year to continue working with staff, students and parents.